Passed Over for a Promotion? Here’s What to Do.

Everyone wants a better job. The promotion that means more money, a private office, and maybe even profit-sharing is the goal for most people. We want to advance our careers. So we apply for new openings, and we interview. Or we just hope our boss or manager will recommend us for a promotion. Sometimes things don’t work out, though. Whether your company hires externally, or a coworker has the edge when it it comes to a promotion, the feeling of being passed over for a new job is universal: it’s the worst!

Still, we don’t want to just sit around in despair about a lost opportunity. We want to use our energy productively and make sure that no one will want to pass up the chance to promote us next time. So here are some concrete strategies you can use to make sure that you’re the only one the company can envision in the next job you apply for.

1 – Have a good attitude toward the new hire.

This is a tough one, but it’s vital. You have to work easily and well with whoever got the job over you. A big part of climbing any corporate ladder is being someone that people would want to work with. No one wants to work with someone who’s difficult or sulks when things don’t go their way. Try not to take it personally that you didn’t get the job this time. Think of it not as a rejection, but your boss thinking you’re just not quite ready yet. Try to assume a mindset that management is in your corner and wants you to succeed (even if you’re pretty sure they don’t). Relentless optimism about your future success can help bring around even your biggest critics.

2 – Tighten up your skillset.

It’s tough to deny a job to someone who has all of the qualifications needed. Maybe you got a little feedback about areas where you were a little weak for the job you applied for. But maybe you didn’t. It doesn’t really matter, because you can probably guess from your interview questions just what your superiors were most concerned about when it came to your ability to do the job. If you still haven’t finished college, then it’s time to hop online and complete your bachelor’s degree. If you turn in good numbers but coworkers think you’re difficult, then it’s time to learn how to be a team player and maybe think about attending a conference or workshop effective communication. Find those weak spots and do something concrete to address them that you can add to your resume.

3 – Track results.

Keep careful track of the numbers when it comes to your job performance. Sure you know you helped increase department output, but it’s best if you can quantify that achievement with a number. So, don’t say, “Sales are up since I’ve been here” instead say, “Sales have increased 23% since I took the job.” Numbers are tough to argue with, and they make you look like someone who understands what’s most important to the company.

When the next chance for a promotion comes up, you’re going to be a shoe-in.